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Health & Medicine In the News ...

Understanding how the protein tau moves between neurons yields insight into possible treatments for neurodegenerative diseases
Posted on Wednesday April 01, 2020

In the fight against neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer's and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the tau protein is a major culprit. Found abundantly in our brain cells, tau is normally a team player -- it maintains structure and stability within neurons, and it helps with transport of nutrients from one part of the cell to another.

New CT scoring criteria for timely diagnosis, treatment of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Posted on Wednesday April 01, 2020

Updated CT scoring criteria that considers lobe involvement, as well as changes in CT findings (i.e., ground-glass opacity, crazy-paving pattern, and consolidation), could quantitatively and accurately evaluate the progression of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia, according to a new article.

Global nuclear medicine community shares COVID-19 strategies and experiences
Posted on Wednesday April 01, 2020

In an effort to provide safer working environments for nuclear medicine professionals and their patients, clinics across five continents have shared their approaches to containing the spread of COVID-19. This compilation of strategies, experiences and precautions is intended to support nuclear medicine clinics as they make decisions regarding patient care.

Understanding brain tumors in children
Posted on Wednesday April 01, 2020

The causes of 40% of all cases of certain medulloblastomas -- dangerous brain tumors affecting children -- are hereditary. A genetic defect that occurs in 15% of these children plays a key role by destabilizing the production of proteins. The researchers suspect that protein metabolism defects could be a previously underestimated cause of other types of cancer.

How dopamine drives brain activity
Posted on Wednesday April 01, 2020

Using a specialized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sensor that can track dopamine levels, neuroscientists have discovered how dopamine released deep within the brain influences distant brain regions.

Blocking the iron transport could stop tuberculosis
Posted on Wednesday April 01, 2020

The bacteria that cause tuberculosis need iron to survive. Researchers have now solved the first detailed structure of the transport protein responsible for the iron supply. When the iron transport into the bacteria is inhibited, the pathogen can no longer grow. This opens novel ways to develop targeted tuberculosis drugs.

Spina bifida surgery before birth restores brain structure
Posted on Wednesday April 01, 2020

Surgery performed on a fetus in the womb to repair defects from spina bifida triggers the body's ability to restore normal brain structure, new research has discovered.

The discovery of new compounds for acting on the circadian clock
Posted on Wednesday April 01, 2020

Scientists have succeeded in the discovery of novel compounds to lengthen the period of the circadian clock, and has shed light on their mechanisms of action.

Heavy drinking into older age adds 4 cm to waistline
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

More than half of drinkers aged 59 and over have been heavy drinkers and this is linked to a significantly larger waistline and increased stroke risk, according to a new study.

Infants introduced early to solid foods show gut bacteria changes that may portend future health risks
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

Infants who were started on solid foods at or before three months of age showed changes in the levels of gut bacteria and bacterial byproducts, called short-chain fatty acids, measured in their stool samples, according to a new study.

Regular exercise benefits immunity -- even in isolation
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

A new analysis highlights the power of regular, daily exercise on our immune system and the importance of people continuing to work-out even in lockdown.

Fast-tracking COVID-19 diagnostic, therapeutic solutions
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, scientists are working to move solutions to diagnose and treat the virus to the marketplace as soon as possible.

Caring for seniors during COVID-19 pandemic
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

Scientists lay out guidelines and best practices for healthcare providers and family caregivers who are providing care for older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New quantum technology could help diagnose and treat heart condition
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

The conductivity of living organs, such as the heart, could be imaged non-invasively using quantum technology, which has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation.

A new mechanism triggering cell death and inflammation: A left turn that kills
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

Researchers describe their discovery of a new mechanism that could contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. The scientists found that ZBP1, a protein best known for defending against incoming viruses, is activated by sensing an unusual form of cellular genetic material (Z-nucleic acids), leading to cell death and inflammation.

Solving a medical mystery and changing CDC screenings for COVID-19
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

UC Davis Health physicians and medical staff detail the diagnosis and treatment for first known case of community transmission of COVID-19 in the US. The case reveals how the patient's symptoms matched -- and sometimes varied from -- published studies of COVID-19 infection at the time.

Cells must age for muscles to regenerate in muscle-degenerating diseases
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

Exercise can only improve strength in muscle-degenerating diseases when a specific type of muscle cell ages, report researchers.

Visual feedback enhances activation of muscle movement in response to bodily sensation
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

Visual feedback is just as important as a sense of body position when it comes to the involuntary reflexes that activate muscle movement, says a new study.

Experiences of undesired effects of hormonal contraception
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

A study of women who experienced mental ill-health from a hormonal contraception indicates they value their mental well-being higher than a satisfactory sex life. Their experiences can influence their choice of contraception. This is one of four themes that researchers have identified in interviews with 24 women who experience negative effects of some hormonal contraception.

Amyloid formation drives brain tissue loss in animal studies
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

Amyloid plaque formation directly causes brain tissue loss in animals, but a drug called lithium reduces the life shortening effects of this loss, shows a new study.

Fracking chemical may interfere with male sex hormone receptor
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

A chemical used in hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, has the potential to interfere with reproductive hormones in men, according to new research.

Consuming extra calories can help exercising women avoid menstrual disorders
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

Exercising women who struggle to consume enough calories and have menstrual disorders can simply increase their food intake to recover their menstrual cycle, according to a new study.

Wearable device lets patients with type 2 diabetes safely use affordable insulin option
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

Adults with type 2 diabetes requiring insulin therapy can safely achieve good blood sugar control using regular human insulin (RHI) in a wearable, patch-like insulin delivery device called V-Go®.

'Smart' devices effective in reducing adverse outcomes of heart condition
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

A new study highlights the feasible use of mobile health (mHealth) devices to help with the screening and detection of a common heart condition.

Wastewater test could provide early warning of COVID-19
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

Researchers are working on a new test to detect SARS-CoV-2 in the wastewater of communities infected with the virus. The wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) approach could provide an effective and rapid way to predict the potential spread of novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) by picking up on biomarkers in feces and urine from disease carriers that enter the sewer system.

Blood test detects over 50 types of cancer, some before symptoms appear
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2020

In a study involving thousands of participants, a new blood test detected more than 50 types of cancer as well as their location within the body with a high degree of accuracy, according to an international team of researchers.

Study helps to identify medications which are safe to use in treatment of COVID-19
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

A recent study has found that there is no evidence for or against the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for patients with COVID-19.

Experimental AI tool predicts which COVID-19 patients develop respiratory disease
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

An artificial intelligence tool accurately predicted which patients newly infected with the COVID-19 virus would go on to develop severe respiratory disease, a new study found.

Researchers find way to improve cancer outcomes by examining patients' genes
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

Genetics researchers say a new approach could benefit all sorts of serious health conditions, and they're urging scientists to quickly pluck 'low hanging fruit' for the benefit of patients.

Hopes for pandemic respite this spring may depend upon what happens indoors
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

How much spring and summer affect the COVID-19 pandemic may depend not only on the effectiveness of social distancing measures, but also on the environment inside our buildings, according to a new review on how respiratory viruses are transmitted.

How at risk are you of getting a virus on an airplane?
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

Fair or not, airplanes have a reputation for germs. However, there are ways to minimize the risks. This research is especially used for air travel where there is an increased risk for contagious infection or disease, such as the recent worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19 disease.

New research sheds light on potentially negative effects of cannabis
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

Coughing fits, anxiety and paranoia are three of the most common adverse reactions to cannabis, according to a recent study.

Hidden messages in protein blueprints
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

Scientists have identified a new control mechanism that enables stem cells to adapt their activity in emergency situations. For this purpose, the stem cells simultaneously modify the blueprints for hundreds of proteins encoded in the gene transcripts. In this way, they control the amount of protein produced and can also control the formation of certain proteinisoforms. If this mechanism is inactivated, stem cells lose their self-renewal potential and can no longer react adequately to danger signals or inflammation.

How we perceive close relationships with others determines our willingness to share food
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

Researchers said a better understanding of the links between attachment and food could potentially help inform efforts to extend help to people during the current coronavirus pandemic -- particularly among people with high attachment avoidance.

COVID-19 found in sputum and feces samples after pharyngeal specimens no longer positive
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

Clinicians found that some patients had positive real-time fluorescence polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results for SARS-CoV-2 in the sputum or feces after the pharyngeal swabs became negative.

Lessons from the Spanish flu: Early restrictions lowered disease, mortality rates
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

A review of published data and analysis on the Spanish flu, found that cities that adopted early and broad isolation and prevention measures had disease and mortality rates that were 30% to 50% lower than other cities.

Air pollution linked to dementia and cardiovascular disease
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a new study. Therefore, patients with cardiovascular diseases who live in polluted environments may require additional support from care providers to prevent dementia, according to the researchers.

Extreme, high temperatures may double or triple heart-related deaths
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

In Kuwait, a country known for hot weather, death certificates reveal that on days when the temperatures reached extremes of an average daily temperature of 109 degrees Fahrenheit, the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease dramatically increased. With unprecedentedly high temperatures, people living in inherently hot regions of the world may be at particularly high risk of heat-related cardiovascular death.

Engineers 3D print soft, rubbery brain implants
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

MIT engineers are working on developing soft, flexible neural implants that can gently conform to the brain's contours and monitor activity over longer periods, without aggravating surrounding tissue. Such flexible electronics could be softer alternatives to existing metal-based electrodes designed to monitor brain activity, and may also be useful in brain implants that stimulate neural regions to ease symptoms of epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and severe depression.

Advances in production of retinal cells for treating blindness
Posted on Monday March 30, 2020

Researchers have discovered a way to refine the production of retinal cells from embryonic stem cells for treating blindness in the elderly. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, they have also managed to modify the cells so that they can hide from the immune system to prevent rejection.

A new way to study HIV's impact on the brain
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

Using a newly developed laboratory model of three types of brain cells, scientists reveal how HIV infection -- as well as the drugs that treat it -- can take a toll on the central nervous system.

UK local authorities not ready for the number of deaths from Covid-19
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

Even if fatality rates are at the lower end of expectations -- one percent of virus victims -- it is highly likely that death and bereavement services will be overwhelmed.

Gene mutation enhances cognitive flexibility in mice
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

Researchers have discovered in mice what they believe is the first known genetic mutation to improve cognitive flexibility -- the ability to adapt to changing situations.

Standardizing COVID-19 data analysis to aid international research efforts
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

Researchers have launched a new database to advance the international research efforts studying COVID-19. The publicly-available, free-to-use resource can be used by researchers from around the world to study how different variations of the virus grow, mutate and make proteins.

How to boost immune response to vaccines in older people
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

Identifying interventions that improve vaccine efficacy in older persons is vital to deliver healthy aging for an aging population. Immunologists have identified a route for counteracting the age-related loss of two key immune cell types by using genital wart cream to boost immune response to vaccination in aged mice. After this validation in mice, the findings offer an attractive intervention to tailor the make-up of vaccines for older people.

COVID-19 linked to cardiac injury, worse outcomes for patients with heart conditions
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

COVID-19 can have fatal consequences for people with underlying cardiovascular disease and cause cardiac injury even in patients without underlying heart conditions, according to a new review.

Forgotten tale of phage therapy history revealed
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

In the current situation when the fear of virus infections in the public is common, it is good to remember that some viruses can be extremely beneficial for humankind, even save lives. Such viruses, phages, infect bacteria. Recent research shed some light on the phage therapy history. It revealed that Brazil was a strong user and developer of phage therapy in 1920-40's.

Disasters can affect cervical cancer screening for years
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

Screening is important for the early detection of cervical cancer, but rates were significantly affected, in some areas for years, following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

COVID-19 infection prevention and control in long-term care facilities
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

Scientists have recently released guidance for prevention and management of COVID-19 among elderly in long term care facilities. The article outlines the objective of WHO interim guidance on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF) in the context of COVID-19 which is to prevent COVID-19-virus from entering the facility, spreading within the facility, and spreading to outside the facility.

Cellular train track deformities shed light on neurological disease
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

A new technique allows researchers to test how the deformation of tiny train track-like cell proteins affects their function. The findings could help clarify the roles of deformed 'microtubules' in traumatic brain injuries and in neurological diseases like Parkinson's.

Some COVID-19 patients still have coronavirus after symptoms disappear
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

Researchers found that half of the patients they treated for mild COVID-19 infection still had coronavirus for up to eight days after symptoms disappeared.

Completely new antibiotic resistance gene has spread unnoticed to several pathogens
Posted on Friday March 27, 2020

Aminoglycoside antibiotics are critically important for treating several types of infections with multi-resistant bacteria. A completely new resistance gene, which is likely to counteract the newest aminoglycoside-drug plazomycin, was recently discovered.

Longer lives not dependent on increased energy use
Posted on Thursday March 26, 2020

Growing consumption of energy and fossil fuels over four decades did not play a significant role in increasing life expectancy across 70 countries. New research has quantified the importance of different development factors to improvements in physical health on an international scale.

Worldwide scientific collaboration unveils genetic architecture of gray matter
Posted on Thursday March 26, 2020

For the first time, more 360 scientists from 184 different institutions have contributed to a global effort to find more than 200 regions of the genome and more than 300 specific genetic variations that affect the structure of the cerebral cortex and likely play important roles in psychiatric and neurological conditions.

How to identify factors affecting COVID-19 transmission
Posted on Thursday March 26, 2020

Professors describe potential transmission pathways of COVID-19 and their implications.

In politics and pandemics, trolls use fear, anger to drive clicks
Posted on Thursday March 26, 2020

A new CU Boulder study shows that Facebook ads developed and shared by Russian trolls around the 2016 election were clicked on nine times more than typical social media ads. The authors say the trolls are likely at it again, as the 2020 election approaches and the COVID-19 pandemic wears on.

Mechanisms to prevent Crohn's disease unveiled
Posted on Thursday March 26, 2020

In a series of four studies published today, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) researchers describe the identification of predictive tools and a new understanding of environmental factors that trigger IBD.

Brain mapping study suggests motor regions for the hand also connect to the entire body
Posted on Thursday March 26, 2020

Investigators report that they have used microelectrode arrays implanted in human brains to map out motor functions down to the level of the single nerve cell. The study revealed that an area believed to control only one body part actually operates across a wide range of motor functions. It also demonstrated how different neurons coordinate with each other.

Microbiome may hold key to identifying HPV-infected women at risk for pre-cancer
Posted on Thursday March 26, 2020

Gardnerella bacteria in the cervicovaginal microbiome may serve as a biomarker to identify women infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) who are at risk for progression to precancer, according to a new study.

The genetic quest to understand COVID-19
Posted on Thursday March 26, 2020

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 is now likely to become the fifth endemic coronavirus in humans. Scientists are working to decipher its genome to help us stop other coronaviruses entering the human population.


 

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